Saturday, February 15, 2020

Our Epic Four Month Adventure - Summarized

It's been just over a month since we returned from our Epic Mission Adventure - it took over a week to adjust to the 15 hour time difference and sleep through the night!  I mean who really wants to eat dinner at 3 a.m.?

So much transpired during our four month adventure in Southeast Asia and India - that we were given two Wednesday evening services to share with our home church, Meadows Fellowship, here in Las Vegas.

The videos of our presentations have been uploaded to our YouTube Channel.  We invite you to experience our adventure through photos and our narrative.

Click here to go directly to Part 1 on YouTube

Click here to go directly to Part 2 on YouTube

Wherever you are on your life adventure, our prayer is that  you follow the heart of God wherever it takes you.

The Journey Continues - Pat

What an Amazing Journey!





Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Fresh Outlook

During our recent overseas mission trip, we received a request from Josh, who attends the same church as Pat's sister Cyndy, (who has accompanied us on missions trips before), asking if he could come for a week to be a part of our ministry in India.

We said, 'Yes!'  He worked out his schedule to join us for his first overseas mission trip.  Here is Josh's view of what it was like to be in India on a mission trip.  We pray that you will be encouraged to follow the heart of God wherever He leads you.  Enjoy!

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My time in India was better than I had hoped for.  I arrived at the airport preparing myself for an eye-opening experience.  Gary and Pat along with Pastor Megha, met me and we were off into traffic. In the U.S. everyone stays in their lanes and follows the rules of the road.  In India however, it is what I can only describe as chaotic sympathy.  Driving is in the left lane and that is more of a suggestion then the rule.  Honking is not considered rude, it is a way of communicating and Indian drivers are constantly communicating. I loved how crazy it was and how well it seemed to work!

Gary and Pat spent time with me showing me around the area so I could soak up the culture to better understand life in India.  We took trips to the tea hills of Darjeeling with the view of the Himalaya Mountains, as well as the to markets in the area we lived.

My first outreach experience was to a small and very poor tea plantation village.  There we sang worship songs and I gave a short message on the story of David and Goliath to 40 young children, that was translated into Bengali.  Afterwards, we handed out cookies to all the children that were present.


The next day was a free eye clinic that Gary and Pat have established here as an evangelistic tool to help reach the community with the love of Jesus. This day was very special.  In 6 hours we saw 80 people come to receive free eye exams, free glasses and prayer. 


Gary, after he did the eye exams showed me how to use the instruments to find the correct prescription and let me do quite a few that needed reading glasses.  I was filled with joy to help and watch the smiles grow as the people began to see clearly for the first time. The highlight was no doubt when a gentleman received reading glasses and was asked to open the Bible that he was given to see if he was able to see and read correctly.  He randomly opens God's word and starts reading how Jesus heals the blind!  I tear up with happiness at how beautiful God works.

At the Eye Clinic - all are prayed for
That Sunday, I was told by Pastor Mike that if I wanted to say a few words at the Sunday Church service that he would let me have some time.  I felt fear come in as I thought about getting up in front of the congregation, but God whispered, 'say yes.'  So I told Pastor Mike I would be happy to.  As I thought about what to share and what would be meaningful, I felt to share my testimony.  It went well and I hope my words reached and encouraged whoever God had in mind.

Travelling by Auto Rickshaw (aka Tuk-Tuk)
This trip was unbelievable and I felt God's presence the whole time.  I was blessed to make this trip with Gary and Pat as they show God's love through kindness and care in ways that have an instant and powerful impact.  The family I made on this trip will forever be in my heart and I plan to provide continued support and God willing set dates for my next visit soon.

I learned on this trip that we don't always need to know what is next; we just need to listen for God's calling and walk boldly in faith.  When we do this God blesses us and the people we serve in ways that are far beyond our imagination."

God Bless - Josh




Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Safe & Sound

Four days after our safe arrival in Las Vegas, I woke up feeling rested and as normal as it gets.
Without the groggy-brain effects of jet-lag. It's a wonderful feeling.

Sunday morning we received a warm loving 'Welcome Home' at Meadows Fellowship, our home church.  Totally feeling loved!

Gary and I cannot express how much we truly appreciate all the love and prayers and support each of you gave us during the past four months.  You are a vital part of our safe and successful trip.

  • If you live in the Las Vegas area - you are invited to come and hear our Mission Trip Presentation.  
  • It will be presented in two parts - on Wednesday evening January 22nd and January 29th.  From 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Meadows Fellowship, 7801 West Alexander Road, Las Vegas, NV 89129   (just West of Buffalo)     www.Meadowslv.com

Everyone wants to know about the food - what did you eat? So here's a sampling of the delicious meals we enjoyed in five different nations.  Nothing too crazy.  God has given us 'missionary stomachs' and kept us healthy.

Stay tuned for more reports .... Pat







Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Love of Jesus Displayed in India


Our love for others is our grateful response
to the love God first demonstrated to us. 1 John 4:19 TPT

Our time in India has flown by and has been very fruitful. Working alongside The Master’s Touch Church and Pastors Mike and Megha Gutknecht has been a great  joy.   In addition to regular church services, prayer meetings, home groups and Bible Study, there were special outreaches during December.

Eye Clinic
Eye clinics in India are not at all clinical!  With numerous people participating in multiple conversations, carried out in five languages, the cozy space we were set up in sounded like a large family gathering.  Which – to be honest it really was.   Eye exams were conducted, glasses were distributed, neighbors visited with each other, and the Gospel of Jesus was shared.  

What a joy-filled day it was.  By our best count 80 people had their eyes checked, 60 pair of glasses were gratefully received, the gospel message was shared. Regardless of their ethnic background, religion, age, or vision problems - all were prayed for and touched by Jesus’ love.


Baiganbari – Tea Garden Village
The local team from The Master’s Touch has an ongoing weekly outreach to the Tea Garden Village of Baiganbari.  Strong relationships have developed over the years as they help the children with schoolwork, teach Bible lessons, provide basic medical care and assist with other basic needs throughout the year. 



Haircuts at Baiganbari -  Armed with plastic salon capes, hair clippers, scissors, combs, ready smiles and generous hearts – a team of eight hair stylists from a local salon descended on the village and provided free haircuts to over 20 children. 

 

Christmas Celebration at Baiganbari  – Children and their families enjoyed an evening of singing, teaching about Jesus and the reason for Christmas, gifts for the children (a warm jacket aka a hoodie and matching sweatpants) and snack boxes for everyone there.  Our host family in the village are Christian and set up a lovely nativity scene. The very rustic village setting really made that ‘first’ Christmas come alive.


Thank you for being a part of showing Jesus Love to “the Least of These” (Matthew. 25:32-40) We believe it brings a smile to Jesus’ face as we share His love in a tangible way – especially as we celebrate His birth and share the real reason for Christmas.

The Journey Continues into the New Year ~ Pat

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas from India



This Christmas season we are reminded that Jesus came - because of love. As His followers - each of us are called to share His love. Our mission field might be next door, at our job, at school, or it might be around the world.

Thank you - for supporting us as we reach out with Jesus' love to our mission field.

Where ever you find yourself this Christmas, remember that you are greatly loved and valued by Emmanuel - the God who came to be with us for all time and eternity.

Merry Christmas from India!    Gary and Pat





Watch this short video for an update on our past few weeks.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Past the Halfway Mark


So far on our journey we have crossed the International Dateline; the Tropic of Cancer,  15 time zones, taken 18 flights on 9 different airlines,  2 bus rides,  countless Grab taxis, tuk-tuks, vans, motorcycles and walked more than our daily 10,000 steps in 5 different nations.

We are more than halfway through our four month trip. Whew!!!!

Enjoy this brief update of our time in Cambodia.
If the video is not loading go directly to the YouTube Link

Lunchtime at the Church Home.
Our week in Cambodia was rich and rewarding.  We spent time with two ministries we work with closely plus had a really fruitful time with Ted and Sou Olbrich and their ministry - "Foursquare  Children of Promise." They have an amazing ministry and a great group of people working with them. We visited two of their church homes and saw their rice fields.  They are a church planting movement that cares for widows, orphans and separated children in need.  This is a work we are thrilled to endorse wholeheartedly.

Plus we already talking with them about bringing short term missions teams to Cambodia in the near future.

We are now in North India with Mike and Megha Gutknecht and their family. India is really our second home and this year we'll be celebrating Christmas with our family here.

As 2019 draws to a close we look ahead to 2020 and find ourselves so very grateful for what God has allowed us to do - the amazing people and ministries He has connected us with around the world.  It is because of your love, prayers, and faithful support that we are able to 'go' when God says 'go.'

May your December be blessed with His presence.  The Journey Continues  ~ Pat

Compassionate Pastors and House Parents

Mike & Megha Gutknecht

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thanksgiving - Thanks-living

This year we are spending Thanksgiving in India - and guess what?   It's not a holiday in this Hindu nation.  It's not even celebrated by the Christians here.   What a strong reminder that America and Canada are not the center of the world.  (Yes I had to include my native country - even though you northerners celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than we do.)

What a great time to change our perspective.  To focus our hearts and minds on the amazing blessings we enjoy - every day - not because it's an official holiday.

What if we were to turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living.  What if we made it a habit to thank the Lord every day - in every situation.  For the big things - and the small things.  Science has proven that living a life of gratitude benefits every aspect of our lives.

During this season of Thanksgiving, and throughout the year,  Gary and I want you to know how grateful we are for you.  Your love, your prayers, your support, every encouraging word - it all makes an impact in our lives and the lives of those we minister to.

Our Amazing God has given each of us an Amazing life.   And the Journey Continues ~ Pat

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Click here to read the recent devotional by Dr. Jeff Shreve that got me thinking about this topic.

Thankful we didn't have to walk!